Currently showing at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Harold Pinter Theatre

A guide to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End

The Harold Pinter, which began life as the Royal Comedy, later the Comedy Theatre, opened its doors on Panton Street off Haymarket in 1881 with a performance of the comic opera The Mascotte. The venue enjoys a strong reputation for the quality of its repertoire which ranges from musical comedies to experimental theatre. Its two biggest hits were The Caretaker by Harold Pinter starring Michael Gambon, and Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs, by David Halliwell, and featuring Ewan McGregor.

The theatre is close to attractions including the Royal Academy and Leicester Square with its galleries. It also offers easy access to lots of popular restaurants, cafes and bars nearby. This means it's ideally located for pre- or post-theatre drinks, or for taking advantage of one of our great theatre meal deals.

The theatre is two minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station, four minutes from Leicester Square and six minutes from Charing Cross. It accommodates 796 people across four levels stalls, dress circle, royal circle and balcony. The theatre's interior is designed in the Renaissance style and is richly moulded with a white and gold colour scheme, creating a stylish setting for your visit to the theatre with family or partner.

The history

The reputation of the theatre grew in the years following the First World War with a series of famous revues staged by Charles Blake Cochran and Andre Charlot. The theatre underwent major reconstruction in the mid-1950s and reopened in 1955. After that, the theatre played a major role in challenging and eventually overturning censorship by establishing the New Watergate Club. Until 1968, all plays had to be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain's Office to be censored, but by running a private club the theatre was able to present the premieres of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams.

More recent productions have included The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a revival of Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti starring Roger Allam, Mark Rylance and Frances de la Tour, and Sunset Boulevard by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Others have included Prick Up Your Ears by Simon Bent with Matt Lucas, Harold Pinter's Betrayal with Kristin Scott-Thomas and Douglas Henshall, and Death and the Maiden with Thandie Newton.

The venue also saw revivals of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde with Sian Philips, Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis, Relative Values by Noel Coward starring Patricia Hodge, Caroline Quentin and Rory Bremner, and A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn with Rob Brydon and Nigel Harman.

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